Phuket authorities catch third illegal Chinese worker this week

Third illegal Chinese worker of the week caught, photo by Phuket Immigration checkpoint.

Phuket authorities caught an illegal Chinese worker at Phuket International Airport last night. The unnamed man is the third illegal Chinese worker caught at the airport this week.

Phuket Immigration checkpoint reported the incident in a Facebook post today. According to the post, the man was arrested at around 7.15pm in the ‘tour parking lot.’

The man was handed over to Sakhu police for further questioning. Nothing about the man’s identity, or his occupation in Thailand, was reported.

Another two Chinese nationals were caught at Phuket International Airport on Wednesday. Their identities and jobs were not reported either.

Meanwhile in Pattaya, an early morning raid on Wednesday at Amon Nakhon fresh market led to the capture of seven illegal foreign workers. Officers searched the market and nearby shops which saw workers from Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos scatter in all directions to escape arrest.

Thailand has seen an uptick in prosecutions of Asian foreign workers for illegal employment in the country, according to a report by the Department of Employment (DoE). The report covered the period from October 2022 to March 2023.

The report revealed that 685 employment venues were prosecuted and a total of 1,550 people prosecuted. The majority of people prosecuted were economic migrants from Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos who had entered Thailand without registration. There were also many Indians and Vietnamese nationals prosecuted

The number of Europeans, Americans, and Australians arrested by DoE officers during this period was only around 20. This may have been because the inspection appeared to primarily target illegal work that is popular with Asian migrants. Such work includes selling goods, hairdressing, driving vehicles, and massage. However, the report did not include arrests by immigration police during the six-month period.

The director-general of DoE, Phairoj Chotikasatien, said that foreign workers were subject to changes in regulations in 2017, which listed 40 employment skills strictly reserved for Thais and mandated fines and deportation for foreign defaulters. Fines for businesses that offer employment without authorised permits vary from 10,000 baht to 200,000 baht per worker. Phairoj said there were inspections across Thailand, including in Bangkok, Phuket, Samui, Chiang Mai, and Pattaya.

Crime NewsPhuket News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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